Walking & Throwing the Bums Out

I meet a bunch of writers at a local coffee shop on Saturdays. I decided to walk over there today. I felt lousy yesterday, both physically and mentally (see yesterday’s post!). I thought a nice long walk would provide both badly needed exercise and time to think. I used to walk a whole lot more. When we lived in Appleton (Wisconsin), I used to walk to the local library all the time. I used to walk on Sunday mornings to get the Sunday paper and Twizzlers. I walked most lunch hours at my work. I was not heavy, but I liked the time to get my head together. Today’s walk helped my mood considerably. I was also reminded how much more you see when you walk. I zip by while driving and never notice a lot of things. Today I noticed, and for the most part, approved of what I saw in the little town I live in.

My cousin posted an article on Facebook today about what a mess Illinois is in. The article is correct; things are messed up here. We have not had a state budget since July of 2015. We’re billions behind on our bills. And we owe state worker pension payments of about $166 billion. I put in a comment that part of the problem is party loyalty. We keep electing the same people over and over and over.

The same holds true at the federal level.

In 2012, Congressional approval averaged 15 percent, the lowest in nearly four decades of Gallup polling. And yet, 90 percent of House Members and 91 percent of Senators who sought re-election won last November. (Gallup data as reported in the Washington Post)

In 2016: 97% of the House incumbents were reelected; 93% of the Senate incumbents were reelected. (https://www.brookings.edu/multi-chapter-report/vital-statistics-on-congress/)

And these numbers are not unusual. In fact 95 percent (or more) of House members typically win re-elections dating back four decades.

  1. We all agree our elected representatives are not doing a good job. We all agree on that – right?
  2. We keep electing the same bozos over and over and over.

Why? Party loyalty. Democrats can’t stomach the idea of voting for a Republican and vice versa. The way the districts have been drawn the incumbents are not afraid of being fired for not doing a good job. They don’t fear us, the voters. They appear to fear a primary challenge, but not us. Until we wise up and start firing these losers, we’ll get more of the same. That might require holding your nose when you vote, but it’s the only way we have to change things short of violence – which is not likely to work to our advantage anyway.